Biobased epoxy resins were synthesized from a catechin molecule, one of the repetitive units in natural flavonoid biopolymers also named condensed tannins. The reactivity of catechin toward epichlorohydrin to form glycidyl ether derivatives was studied using two model compounds, resorcinol and 4-methylcatechol, which represent the A and B rings of catechin, respectively. These model molecules clearly showed differences in reactivity upon glycidylation, explaining the results found with catechin monomer. The reaction products were characterized by both FTIR and NMR spectroscopy and chemical assay. The glycidyl ether of catechin (GEC) was successfully cured in various epoxy resin formulations. The GECs thermal properties showed that these new synthesized epoxy resins displayed interesting properties compared to the commercial diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA). For instance, when incorporated up to 50% into the DGEBA resin, GEC did not modify the glass-transition temperature. Epoxy resins formulated with GEC had slightly lower storage moduli but induced a decrease of the swelling percentage, suggesting that GEC-enhanced crosslinking in the epoxy resin networks. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2011
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